Mud, mayhem, and superb talent.
Vintage motocross videos are some of the most delightful madness you can witness. This one is particularly special, because it was produced by Suzuki and followed the factory team’s 1970 motocross season. Perhaps not entirely by accident, 1970 was also the year that the factory Suzuki team ascended to dominate the sport of motocross with MX legend Joel Robert, who won the 250cc championship a stunning six times in his storied career.
You also get to see talented MX racers like development king Olle Pettersson, whom Robert credited as being a large part of the reason why Suzuki’s bikes were so good when Robert joined the team for the 1970 season. Sylvain Geboers, who was a great racer in his day, went on to become a team owner, keeping the MX dream alive in Europe.
This video exists, according to the Motocross Files, because director Todd Huffman and Pipeline Digital Media acquired it as a 16mm film from AMA Hall of Fame rider Billy Uhl. Uhl had this video in the first place because he and his father Herb Uhl had been Suzuki dealers in Idaho. PDM preserved this valuable piece of MX and motorcycling history and have since made it available for all to see, complete with an amazing soundtrack from the period that makes the video such a brilliant time capsule.
Finally, can we take a moment to recognize just how completely bonkers sidecarcross is? Sidecar road racing is tense enough, but the idea of MX jumps in sidecars is kind of brain-rattling even if you’re just watching it. Joel Robert and other talented MX racers of the ‘60s and ‘70s may have helped bring MX love to the US, but it seems that sidecarcross didn’t translate so readily. It’s still alive and well today across Europe via the FIM World Sidecarcross Championship, though!